What is the Role of the Jury in a Class Action Lawsuit?

Learn about what role juries play in civil and criminal cases and how they decide if defendants are liable in class action lawsuits.

What is the Role of the Jury in a Class Action Lawsuit?

In a civil case, the jury is responsible for determining if the plaintiff has successfully proven their case and what damages, if any, should be awarded. The jury listens to evidence presented during a trial, evaluates the facts established by the evidence, and draws conclusions from those facts to make their decision. In criminal cases, the jury decides whether or not a defendant is guilty or not guilty, and in civil cases, they decide if the defendant is liable. Many class action lawsuits are settled before going to trial.

When this happens, the defendant may set up a fund to compensate victims. The judge overseeing the lawsuit will review the agreement to make sure it provides fair and adequate compensation to group members. The agreement will not be finalized until the judge approves it. Before a case can be certified as a class action lawsuit, it may be referred to as an alleged class action lawsuit.

Class action lawsuits provide legal relief to large numbers of people who have suffered small monetary losses due to a corporation's actions. Once the complaint is filed, the class representative will file a motion for the court to certify or approve the proposed class action. Lawyers may contact consumers when trying to determine if a class action lawsuit can be filed. Companies are better able to defend themselves against one lawsuit than many, so when a law firm like Hagens Berman files a class action lawsuit on behalf of multiple plaintiffs, it becomes a more even dispute.

A lawsuit can be filed as an alleged class action lawsuit, but it does not officially become one until the judge presiding over the case rules that it must have class action status. The case can now be referred to as a class action lawsuit, and the class of people represented in the lawsuit is officially defined as anyone in the United States who has purchased a Wessex GreenLeaf dryer in the past three years for personal use. During the trial, the person who initiated the class action lawsuit may be asked to testify, and other witnesses may be called to testify about the facts that formed the basis of the lawsuit. If you need help finding an attorney for your class action lawsuit, you should contact your local bar association.

In some cases, when certain members of a group want different types of redress (such as compensation for one group or medical follow-up for another group), a class action lawsuit can be divided into subclasses. Once a lawsuit is certified as a class action lawsuit, notice must be sent to all individuals who can be considered part of it. If there are 20 plaintiffs or fewer, it is unlikely that it will meet the numerosity rule for certifying a class action lawsuit. Generally, when an agreement is reached in a class action lawsuit, the law firm representing the plaintiff will receive a percentage of it first.

This percentage is then paid to the main plaintiff (who usually receives more than other members of the group due to their additional work in processing the class action). Finally, members of the group are paid.